Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Bangs on the Openness Drum Again

Every so often, a Google executive whips out what the company thinks is its trump card: Openness.

Some examples: Android open sourcing in 2011, Facebook contact importing in 2010, a grand manifesto on “The Meaning of Open” in 2009.

The latest is Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who told the Guardian that “very powerful forces” — including oppressive and territorial governments, the entertainment industry, and Facebook and Apple — “have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world.”

Conflating Internet censorship and Google’s biggest competitors is a bit lazy, and it makes Brin seem wistful and out of touch. Has he looked around his own company lately and seen things like Search Plus Your World and Google Play? “Open” probably isn’t the best word to describe them.

Brin can argue that the current environment wouldn’t have fostered the creation of Google, but we’ve come a long way on the Internet since the late ’90s. If the definition of “open” is “that which can be indexed and monetized by Google,” maybe we need a new word.

(Image courtesy of Google)


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik